I am no stranger to chronic pain. Not only did pain dominate my life for 4 years, but it also substantially increased my level of stress. It is not easy living each day with pain.
Along with pain, most people deal with varying levels of depression and stress. I know I did. It takes a Jedi mindset to ignore pain and push through each day.
But, did you know chronic pain may not be a physical problem?
Yes, pain is real, and what you are physically feeling is too.
But, what if I told you that the key to alleviating most chronic pain is in the mind!
It has been scientifically proven that many chronic aches and pains are actually rooted in the brain. As with our emotions, negative mental chatter, and an inability to cope with stress can actually affect different brain centers and manifest in the body.
In other words, your mind is able to refer pain into the physical body.
Do you have pain in your body with an unknown cause?
Or perhaps you have found its cause. But have you ever noticed some people have the exact same issue and have no problem at all?
No Pain At All.
In the book, The Hidden Psychology of Pain by Dr. James Alexander, he talks about John Sarno’s work.
John Sarno found conventional medicine actually knows little about chronic pain. He observed in his research that there was no neat relationship between damage in the body and an existence of pain. In other words, people with chronic pain, when examined with x-ray and other diagnostic tools, were found to have no structural abnormalities at all.
It was also found that a high percentage of people, who participated in the research showed evidence of structural pathology of the spine, but had no pain at all.
How can that be?
Could it be that the key to healing chronic pain is in the mind?
Throughout Western and Eastern Medicine, there are countless stories of people healing their pain via the mind.
In Western Medicine, it is known as the placebo effect and has been observed in numerous controlled, double blind studies. One group of people receive the medication, while the other group get a sugar pill which they believe is the medication.
What is interesting here is just as many people heal who believed they received the medication, as those individuals who actually did. People healed, because they believed the medication would heal them. Their belief and their mind healed their bodies.
Have you used a placebo to stimulate healing?
In Eastern Medicine, meditation appears to work for pain relief, as it reduces brain activity in your somatosensory cortex. This area of the brain determines where the pain is felt and its intensity.
More than that, Eastern Traditions are now exploring the power of your thoughts as a mind body therapy for pain.
Methods like Neuro-linguistic Programming and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy help to reprogram a person’s response to pain, as well as, change negative thought patterns which stimulate a chronic stress response.
I have had success with some of these techniques. Not only did these methods help muffle the pain I was feeling, but also helped me be at peace in my body, no matter the situation.
5 Techniques to Reduce Chronic Pain and Stress
1. Mindfulness Meditation – Mindfulness is a very effective meditation technique for relaxing mind and body, and dialing down a stress response. It has been proven effective for pain relief and pain management. Mindfulness is simply becoming aware of your breath, relaxing your mind to such a point where you lose track of your body. Your body becomes so relaxed that all pain is diminished.
Mindfulness meditation puts you into a deep, theta brain state where anything is possible. Pain becomes more manageable and in some cases disappears, and you find yourself in a more peaceful, happy state in your day to day life.
2. Hypnosis –Hypnosis is a scientifically verified and effective technique that allows you to tap into your subconscious mind and promote change.
Hypnosis enables you to create desired changes in behaviour, as well as, promoting emotional, mental, and physical well-being. It is a powerful, visualization technique that you can learn to use for: pain reduction and healing, weight loss, quitting smoking, anxiety and PTSD, etc. It allows you to gain control of unwanted behaviours and make changes.
3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT focuses on development of coping strategies to solve current problems such as: pain, depression, anxiety, as well as, facilitating conscious changes to your thoughts, behaviours, and beliefs.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been proven to give a person practicing it new coping skills and a fresh perspective on life. It has also been shown to be effective for pain relief.
4. Visualization – Visualization is a technique that incorporates the power of the mind to heal the body. In a meditative state, you see a problem you want healed being resolved. You are essentially telling the body what you want with your mind. You literally visualize yourself in perfect health. Some people even visualize going into their problem such as pain and watch it healing. The mind is very powerful. If you believe, it can happen.
5. Placebo Effect – This is where you choose a food or an object you believe can heal your body. For example, you make a greens drink your placebo. Every time you drink it you believe it is healing you. Hence this green drink is your placebo effect. If your mind believes that your chosen object will heal you, it most likely will. The trick is to truly believe!
Have you tried any of these techniques and had success? I know I have.
I truly believe in the phrase, ‘Mind Over Matter’!
Do you have a mind body success?
I would love to hear about it....Write your story in the comment section below.
The more people who share their stories, the more others can learn what is possible and benefit.
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